Dear Reena,

A solution, please! Something has spilt on our carpet and we have tried everything to clean it. It is a circle about 10″ in diameter; not just a stain, but all stuck together. I have a hunch it was oil. I have tried carpet cleaner, specifically Folex, soap and water, but it didn’t come out. Any ideas? Many thanks, Carole

Hi Carole,

Are you sure the stain is grease? It is strange that the fibers are stuck together. The first step whenever a grease spill occurs is to thoroughly cover the area with a thick even layer of cornstarch. Work the cornstarch into the stain and watch the stain disappear; because cornstarch is an absorber. Blot the area with water and a dishcloth until the mess is gone. Another option is use clear dish soap and hot water. Since dish soap was developed as a grease cutter it does wonders at well, cutting grease. Some people have also had great results with mechanics waterless hand cleaner but test it on a small inconspicuous area first. The challenge in experimenting with different products is that sometimes products can actually set a stain making it very difficult to remove. If the grease stain does not budge, you may need to call a professional carpet cleaner to help. You can also spray the area with WD-40 and remove the adhesion. Then apply dish soap and water and blot.

Dear Reena,

I love brown chocolate more than anyone in the entire world. However, white chocolate is something that I can live without. What exactly is white chocolate? Morisa

Well Morisa,

I agree! Nothing beats the great taste, texture not to mention versatility of chocolate. White chocolate is an imposter and should not even call itself chocolate. According to the Food and Drug Administration, white chocolate is really not chocolate at all because it does not contain “chocolate liquor” from the cocoa bean. It is a blend of cocoa butter, sugar, milk and flavorings. I guess I could give up the habit of eating chocolate everyday…what am I saying, I’m no quitter!

Dear Reena,

I like buying whole wheat bread for my family. What is the best way to store it? Kendra

Dear Kendra,

Whole wheat flour is milled from the entire wheat kernel-endosperm, bran and germ. Baked products made with whole wheat flour have a heavier, more compact texture. Because the wheat germ contains fat, whole grain flour is susceptible to becoming rancid. It should be refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container if it is to be stored for a long period of time.

Dear Reena,

From time to time my wife uses the peel from oranges to make a coarse-cut marmalade which is spiced with a small quantity of rum. A recent batch resulted in a very dark marmalade quite different from the normal orange color. We wonder if some chemical used to deter insects or mold is responsible for the color. The same saucepan was used for both batches. Unfortunately, the peels were obtained

from several purchases of oranges making it impossible to follow-up with a specific grocery or grower. Have you encountered this question before? We would love to have an answer. Naturally, we are reluctant to consume the marmalade if it contained a chemical contaminant. Greetings and very best wishes.  John

Hi John,

There are a few factors that can contribute to homemade marmalade color differences. If you scald a batch even slightly, it will still be consumable only darker. Another factor is that most citrus comes in during the season, winter. But there are varieties of oranges that arrive during other parts of the year. The area and temperature in which the fruit was grown can make a big difference as to the color of the final product. In my opinion the color change culprit is none other than the rum. Depending on the country in which the alcohol came from and how it was manufactured this is likely why your marmalade turned out dark. The marmalade sounds safe to eat but if you are not sure discard it.

Important Feedback from Reader:

I have a solution that I’ve used for maggots in onions for years. Sprinkle laundry detergent powder, not liquid, in the row before planting. It has kept them away for years. It is also good to rotate your plants each year. Gary

Fabulous Tips of the Week!

  • When making spudlicious mashed potatoes use either Russet or Yukon Gold.
  • Cut raw potatoes into even pieces.
  • Cook potatoes in salt water until they are falling apart. I like to add a clove of garlic to the pot for extra flavor.
  • Don’t use a food processor to mash. Sure it’s faster but it often turns into a gluteny mess.
  • For really creamy potatoes, add lots of warm, milk.
  • Top with butter, chives or bacon bits.

Reena Nerbas is a highly popular professional speaker and the author of three national best sellers, “Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions”, “Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets” and “Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives”. Corporate and Christmas Workshops Available by calling: 204-320-2757.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!

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